U.S. officials announced on Tuesday that the Taliban killed an Islamic State militant who was the "mastermind" behind a suicide attack at Kabul's international airport in 2021 that killed 13 U.S. personnel and dozens of civilians during the United States' chaotic withdrawal from the country.
The bombing occurred on August 26, 2021, as U.S. forces attempted to assist Americans and Afghans in fleeing the chaotic aftermath of the Taliban's takeover. The attack exacerbated America's sense of defeat after twenty years of war.
"He was a key ISIS-K official directly involved in plotting operations like Abbey Gate, and he can no longer plan or execute attacks," White House spokesperson John Kirby said in a statement, referring to the Abbey Gate entrance to the Kabul airport where the explosion occurred. He did not identify the individual.
The Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan, known as Islamic State Khorasan or ISIS-K after the region's former moniker, is an enemy of the Taliban. In 2014, Islamic State-aligned fighters first appeared in eastern Afghanistan before expanding to other regions.